Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Shipping: "UK Department of Transport recommends launch of ammonia / hydrogen powered vessels within 5-15 years"

Ammonia, it's what everyone is talking about.
And if your crowd isn't, you'll be the best-informed next-gen energy storage/transport-medium connoisseur at the Thursday afternoon salon!
First up, Ammonia Energy with the headline story:
In January 2019, the UK Department for Transport published a policy paper outlining its vision for the maritime sector over the coming decades. Among the many recommendations contained in Maritime 2050: navigating the future, is a medium-term objective to place “a group of hydrogen or ammonia powered domestic vessels in operation.”
The “strategic ambition” driving this recommendation is the expectation that “the UK will … lead the way in taking action on clean maritime growth enjoying economic benefits from being an early adopter or fast mover.” Moving forward, these recommendations will be developed into policy in the government’s forthcoming Clean Maritime Plan, scheduled to be published in Spring 2019.
The policy paper is structured around seven themes: the UK’s competitive advantage, environment, infrastructure, people, security, technology, and trade. Each section includes recommendations for short- medium- and long-term actions. The “Environment” section is heavily geared toward supporting the IMO’s GHG emission reduction targets of 50% by 2050 and net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible within this century.
In the Environment section entitled “Towards zero emission shipping,” Maritime 2050 describes its recommendations for the medium term, which it defines as 5-15 years:
In line with the Industrial Strategy, government aims to launch a number of “zero- emission shipping ambitions” in the Clean Maritime Plan which could include:
  • A group of hydrogen or ammonia powered domestic vessels in operation
  • At least one major port in the UK to have all ship-side activity zero emission (including non-road mobile machinery like cranes, as well as ships while docked in port).
UK Department of Transport policy paper, Maritime 2050: navigating the future – executive summary, January 2019
While the Clean Maritime Plan will establish the procedures by which these goals will be achieved, the government is unlikely to be working alone. As Maritime 2050 explains, while some recommendations are for government and others are for industry, “an overwhelming majority will only be achieved through collective endeavour.”...

Among the entities sniffing at the possibilities are the U.S. Department of Energy's ARPA-E program, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer. Siemens Gamesa, and Norway's wizard's of nitrogen, Yara..
Here's an August 2018 post on what's up down under:

This Could Be A Big Deal: Norway's Yara and the Australian Nitrogen Economy

Over the years we've visited Yara quite a few times.
First as Norwegian polymath Kristian Birkeland's baby, Norsk Hydro; then as the world's largest nitrogen wrangler, mainly for fertilizer but also a hundred other uses; and most recently as a leader, competing with Rolls-Royce, in the race to design and deploy autonomous ships. Now this.

From the journal Science, July 12, 2018:
SYDNEY, BRISBANE, AND MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—The ancient, arid landscapes of Australia are fertile ground for new growth, says Douglas MacFarlane, a chemist at Monash University in suburban Melbourne: vast forests of windmills and solar panels. More sunlight per square meter strikes the country than just about any other, and powerful winds buffet its south and west coasts. All told, Australia boasts a renewable energy potential of 25,000 gigawatts, one of the highest in the world and about four times the planet's installed electricity production capacity. Yet with a small population and few ways to store or export the energy, its renewable bounty is largely untapped.
That's where MacFarlane comes in. For the past 4 years, he has been working on a fuel cell that can convert renewable electricity into a carbon-free fuel: ammonia. Fuel cells typically use the energy stored in chemical bonds to make electricity; MacFarlane's operates in reverse. In his third-floor laboratory, he shows off one of the devices, about the size of a hockey puck and clad in stainless steel. Two plastic tubes on its backside feed it nitrogen gas and water, and a power cord supplies electricity. Through a third tube on its front, it silently exhales gaseous ammonia, all without the heat, pressure, and carbon emissions normally needed to make the chemical. "This is breathing nitrogen in and breathing ammonia out," MacFarlane says, beaming like a proud father....MUCH MORE